Engineering jobs in the US are expected to fall by nearly 40% to 7.5 million by 2021, a report by the US Government Accountability Office said Tuesday.
The report says the job losses will be mostly due to retirements of civil engineers, with about 3 million jobs lost.
Civil engineers tend to be a high-paying and stable career in the United States.
In 2017, there were 1.2 million civil engineers in the workforce.
“The decline in civil engineering jobs over the last decade is due to a variety of factors including the recession and the continuing uncertainty of the economy,” GAO’s report said.
“The overall job losses in the civil engineering industry are expected in 2021 to reach 2.3 million.
In contrast, the U.S. economy has added nearly 3 million new jobs since 2007, and a substantial number of these are in occupations in which the civil engineer holds high-level government-recognized credentials.”
The US has experienced a strong rebound in job growth over the past two years, thanks to the end of the Great Recession.
The government report does not detail how much the decline in engineering jobs is attributable to the fall in the federal workforce or the overall economy.
The number of civil engineer positions has grown over the years, but the government report says that more and more people are taking on non-engineering jobs in civil construction, public health, transportation and other non-tech jobs.
GAO noted that while civil engineering job losses are expected over the next 10 years, they are projected to be more rapid in 2021 than in 2020.
The report does say that it is unclear how long the job cuts will continue.
The US has been facing a severe manufacturing job shortage, particularly in the manufacturing sector.
A recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the US has lost almost 8 million manufacturing jobs since January 2016.
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